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Frequently asked questions
How much does a home inspection cost in my area?
A home inspection costs $300 to $500 on average, depending on the property's size and age, location, services rendered, and if there are freestanding structures. Specialty inspections cost $100 to $300 more for testing things such as mold, asbestos, radon, lead, or termites.
Who pays for a residential home inspection?
The home buyer typically pays for the cost of a private home inspection. The buyer should hire a real estate inspector as soon as the seller accepts the offer. After the inspection, buyers may accept the house "as is," ask the seller to pay for repairs, renegotiate, or back out of the sale and forfeit the earnest money.
What do licensed home inspectors look for?
Certified home inspectors check the roof, foundation, ceilings, windows, attic, crawl space, fireplace, doors, decks and porches. House inspectors also cover the plumbing, heating, electrical, and air conditioning systems. Building inspectors only look at what is visible and accessible.
Some home inspectors offer specialty testing for mold and asbestos for an extra $100 to $300 on average.
What are home inspectors not allowed to do?
Home inspectors are not allowed to check for code violations, permits, determine the house's insurability or value, move furniture or appliances, condemn the property, issue a certificate of occupancy, or survey the properties boundary lines. Inspections also do not include fire and smoke detectors, hot tubs and swimming pools, alarm systems, and sprinkler systems.
How long does a home inspection take?
A home inspection takes 2 to 3 hours on average, depending on the house's size and age and if there are freestanding structures included. Property inspectors provide their final inspection report within 24 hours after inspecting.
Should you get a home inspection on new construction?
Yes, buyers should always get a home inspection on a new construction home. New homes are not always built to code and can have problems. Some buyers also get an early pre-drywall inspection to ensure the beams, posts, studs, insulation, and home systems are installed correctly.
Should I use a home inspector recommended by my realtor?
Hiring a home inspector recommended by your realtor may pose a conflict of interest. The inspector(s) may have a vested interest in helping the realtor close the sale, so they remain on the agent’s list of recommended inspectors.
How to find and hire a good home inspector?
To find the best home inspectors in your area:
- Get at least three estimates from building inspectors to compare.
- Ask for references from their past customers.
- Verify their license and insurance.
- Look for residential home inspectors certified with the American Society of Home Inspectors (ASHI), the International Association of Certified Home Inspectors (InterNACHI), or the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).
- Read reviews and check out their previous work on HomeGuide, Google, and the Better Business Bureau (BBB).
- Ask about their warranties and guarantees.
- Ask for a contract in writing upfront.
- Avoid making large payments upfront. Come up with a payment schedule for work completed.
What questions to ask a home inspector?
Once you have a shortlist of top-rated home inspectors, ask the following questions before hiring:
- How long have you been in the property inspection business?
- What types of homes do you inspect?
- How many homes have you inspected?
- What do you check? What don't you check?
- How much do you charge?
- Can I see a sample inspection report?
- Can you provide me with a list of references?
- Can I be present during the inspection?
- Are you licensed and insured?
- How long will the inspection take?
- Can you provide me a written estimate?
- Do I pay after the inspection? What payment methods do you accept?
- What do I need to provide to get started?
Once you've read home inspector reviews and hired a professional, ask the following questions during the inspection:
- Do any areas need a follow-up inspection?
- What are your biggest concerns about this house? How much would it cost to fix?
- Is there anything critical I need to fix before moving in?
- What would you fix if you were buying this house?
- Are these issues normal wear and tear?
- What else could go wrong?
- Is the roof in good condition?
- Do any fire, water, health, or safety hazards exist?
- Are the trees on the property a potential hazard?